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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  September 13, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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kids who play basketball, why is the danger greater for girls? and hero story, he's getting his medal of honor. and we have that first interview about the courage. we can't see them but they are everywhere. crisscrossing america. 2.5 million miles of natural gas pipeline, enough to circle the earth 100 times. tonight, we have the latest on the investigation into the california explosion, as stunned residents there head home.
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to see what's left of their neighborhood. neal karlinsky tells us how investigators are looking at the age of the pipes and piecing together the clues. he's in san bruno again this evening for us, good evening, neal. >> reporter: good evening, diane. the natural gas pipe that leveled this neighborhood was packed up and trucked out by the ntsb today as their most critical piece of evidence, even as neighbors just down the street are finally returning home. >> what the [ bleep ] happened? >> reporter: the people who live on the street where this incredible home video was taken are still nervous, and the sight of pg&e workers using electronic
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sniffers to check for more leaks under their street isn't helping. >> i feel secure, but she's not. she's scared. she keeps telling me, "i don't wanna come home, mom, i don't wanna go home." >> reporter: investigators so far have two areas of concern as they examined the pipe which was first installed in 1956. first, that it has a long seam where it was welded together and may have been susceptible to corrosion. but they've also found a hodgepodge of small pieces called "pups," each individually welded in place to help the pipe make a dip under the road. more modern pipes are simply bent to shape, which leaves fewer weld points that could fail, then catch fire from something as simple as a nearby stove or car. a microscopic examination will look for an answer. >> was it, for example, a fatigue fracture, you know, where the pressurization, depressurization bends it back and forth and back and forth, and so it eventually breaks? or was it a fracture from impact, from excavation? >> reporter: and investigators
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now say they have found no hard evidence that neighbors formally complained about the smell of gas leading up to the blast. >> the real question is did it need repair, when is the last time it was expected, and it was inspected as early as march 2010. >> reporter: meanwhile, residents who suffered only minor damage are just trying to clean up and get their lives back in order on a street that is anything but normal. we turn now to a question everyone was asking all weekend long, is there a way to know if there's a natural gas pipeline running under your house and how big is it, how old? barbara pinto tells us how some people found out. >> reporter: the incident happen every other day in this country. >> it's something we need to get a clear handle on before it gets worse. >> reporter: in this san diego neighborhood last night, more trouble seeped from underground. the frightening smell of natural gas forced dozens from their homes. in illinois, hundreds of workers scrambled to contain crude oil that gushed for three days from
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a ruptured main. often, residents say they had no idea what was beneath their homes until it was too late. this, despite the fact that utilities are required by law to clearly mark pipelines and notify residents about those aging neighbors they don't see. here in the chicago neighborhood, residents share this street with an underground natural gas pipeline but there's no evidence of it, no obvious signs. >> water lines are fairly decently marked but gas lines, no. >> reporter: those pipelines are a subterranean oil and gas superhighway crisscrossing the nation, 2.5 million miles of pipeline, enough to wrap around the earth 100 times. much of that infrastructure is at least 40 years old and in some cases in decay. >> it's kind of a wake-up call for all of us, the vast majority of these large pipelines are never required to be inspected. >> reporter: that's because only pipelines near natural resources or population centers are
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subject to mandatory inspection and only 7% of those major lines run anywhere near a neighborhood. utility companies know where pipelines are buried, but residents might not. barbara pinto, abc news, chicago. >> and one tip for homeowners, natural gas leaks smell like rotten eggs. if you want to learn about other clues, head to and we move on now to the election just 50 days away shaping up as a giant showdown about job, the middle class and taxes. not only is the republicans taking on the president, the republicans and democrats are now fighting among themselves. jake tapper is at the white house. >> reporter: the president met with middle class voters in fairfax, virginia, today. >> i'm a massage therapist. >> i've got a crick in my neck. >> i bet you do. >> reporter: there he continued to push the idea that republicans have a stranglehold on a middle class tax cut and
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are holding it hostage until it's extended to wealthier americans as well. >> because wages and incomes had flat lined for middle class families, they should definitely get an extension of the tax cuts that were instituted in 2001, 3. >> reporter: over the weekend, house republican leader john boehner essentially gave in, saying he'd go along with continuing those bush tax cuts for middle class voters, even if the cuts for higher wage earners are allowed to expire. >> if the only option i have is to vote for some of those tax reductions, i'll vote for them. >> reporter: but today, leader boehner realized he was out on a limb all by himself. senate republican leader mitch mcconnell said senate republicans are united against any tax increase. >> only in washington could someone propose a tax hike as an antidote to a recession and this is no small tax hike. >> reporter: some democrats are breaking from the president and want to extend all the tax cuts. >> given the fragility of the
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economy, all of the bush tax cuts should be extended temporarily. >> we need to remember that the top 5% income bracket in america account for 30% of all consumer spending. >> reporter: according to the nonpartisan congressional budget office, if all the bush tax ruts are extended, economic growth in the next year could almost double. long term, however, economists say since none of the tax cuts are paid for, they're all deficit spending and unsustainable. and, diane, after all this back and forth, you just wonder where does this all leave us? basically where we were last week headed to a standoff with all wage earners taxes scheduled to go up on january 1st, diane. >> as you know, tomorrow is the last big primary day, as we head towards the november elections. voters going to the polls in seven states and washington, d.c. so we thought we'd look at the impact of the tea party so far and what one race tomorrow will tell us about the movement in days to come.
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john karl now on the personalities garnishing all the attention. ♪ god bless america >> reporter: it would be the tea party movement's biggest upset yet. >> there is a tidal wave coming to delaware. >> reporter: christine o'donnell is an unlikely tea party hero, a marketing consultant who has twice run for senate and twice been trounced. >> hi, this is gver sarah palin. vote for christine o'donnell for u.s. senate. >> reporter: but now she's got an endorsement for sarah palin and she is driving the republican establishment nuts. the establishment candidate is congressman mike castle. gop leaders say is castle wins the nominations, they win the joe biden's old senate seat. if not -- >> i have no doubt if she by some miracle became the nominee she would lose the seat by unprecedented numbers. >> reporter: but castle is a pro-abortion rights, pro-gun control moderate.
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>> the republican party has lost its way. they get behind candidates like my opponent who don't even support the republican platform, who continue to support the democrats agenda, lock, step and barrel. >> reporter: whatever happens here in delaware, tea party senate candidates have already toppled the choices of the republican establishment in at least six states this year. castle watched as tea partner joe miller toppled alaska senator lisa murkowski. >> she called me several days after she went down and said, you know, these people will come hard, just be careful. >> reporter: did she give you any advice? >> yes, just general advice, be very careful and go for it. >> reporter: he's not holding back, hammering o'donnell hard, even attacking her for problems with her personal finances. >> using campaign funds to pay her own rent. >> reporter: clearly this unlikely tea partier has the establishment worried. jonathan karl, abc news, dover, delaware. up next, weather watch, hurricane forecasters have their eye on a mega storm in the
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atlantic tonight. the biggest in three years. eye igor is already a category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 miles per hour and headed towards a category 5. it's more than 800 miles across, bigger than texas. tonight it doesn't look as if igor will threaten the east coast but hurricanes change course, so everyone is watching. and a troubling discovery tonight about the story that consumes us over the spring and summer, the oil spill in the gulf. the u.s. government said 75% of the giant spill had simply disappeared. but our matt gutman is in touch with scientists who are on the ocean tonight probing the ocean floor and finding oil. >> reporter: it's a mystery that has bedevilled scientists and the government. over 180 million gallons of crude spilled but much of it seemed to vanish. so where did it go? one group of scientists now think they have the answer. >> the oil is not gone. it's in places where nobody looks for it. a lot of it is on the bottom.
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>> reporter: over the past couple of week, joye and other researchers have pulled up cones of sediment from the seafloor, finding a layer of sludge over 2 inches thick and extending up to 70 miles out from the wellhead. we reached her just a few miles away from the spill zone. what is the potential fallout for wildlife, for marine life? >> i have yet to see a living shri shrimp, a living worm, nothing. these guys basically just got suffocated by a flood of this stuff. >> reporter: these findings are preliminary. it's enough of a threat to larger fish and perhaps humans that she feels compelled to talk about it. the last time she felt so compelled she and a team of scientists had just discoved oil plumes lurking in the gulf. federal scientists immediately demanded they stop talking about it. later acknowledged the plumes exist. do you feel you've been bullied? >> i think that's kind of fair to say. >> reporter: when joye and others challenged the
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government's astergs that 75% of the oil was gone, the administration tried to discredit them. this time, federal scientists are listening. abc news has learned the government will this week launch a hassive new initiative to hunt for the oil still in the water and in the sediment and they've enlisted dozens of scientist, including joye, for help. matt gutman, abc news. and we have some welcome news from the fbi tonight -- crime is down again in america. violence crime nationwide dropped more than 5% last year. and property crime was down almost as much, despite the bad economy. one reason police in major cities using computers to zero in on crime hot spots and focusing their resources where they're needed the most. still ahead now on "world news" -- kids suffering brain injuries from basketball? why are the numbers soaring, especially among girls? and the medal of honor winner -- what he did for a friend and fellow soldier. our martha raddatz with the first interview. [ man ] this is bailey's favorite time of day. mine too.
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some sobering news tonight about the most popular sport for american children and teens, basketball. when you think of the hazards of basketball, you think of sprained ankles or sprained fingers, but a journal has a new study which says the number of teenagers and adolescents suffering traumatic brain injuries from basketball is
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soaring. here's sharyn alfonsi. reporter: that's niki popyer, number 23. a star on the court who thought basketball would be her ticket to college. but today those dreams have been benched. do you play at all anymore? >> i'm not allowed to play anymore. >> reporter: multiple concussions have left niki unable to finish tests, homework -- even a full day of school. it started in the 7th grade when niki hit her head on the gym floor. by age 14, she had suffered seven concussions playing basketball. how do you get, you know, seven concussions on the court? >> i guess as an athlete i wanted to win and i would do anything in my power to make that happen. >> reporter: today, just touching her head can cause her to have another concussion. >> i can't go to the movies or on the train -- anywhere i might potentially get hit. >> reporter: and just standing up right now? >> i'm going to have a bad
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headache later. >> reporter: just watch youtube and you can see why the number of young people suffering head injuries while playing basketball is on the rise. researchers say traumatic brain injuries associated with playing basketball, mostly concussions, spiked 70% over 10 years. more kids now play basketball than any other sport. and e.r.s report basketball now accounts for more head injuries than even football. >> as an adolescent is growing, they are learning new things. they're developing synapses and wiring of the brain and so anything that interrupts that can have a devastating outcome -- a devastating result. >> there's so many parents and players that would say, oh, stop, you can go back in, i mean, it's nothing, it's just a hit on the head, but they don't know how i'm feeling inside. >> sharyn is here now. tell me more about why girls, why the rate is escalating among them. >> the experts think it's because girls are playing more aggressively than ever before but they also think some of the guys aren't reporting their injuries and they're playing on, playing through it, and that's part of the problem here. >> all right. well, this is stunning to me,
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basketball, didn't know that. thank you, sharyn alfonsi. and still ahead, oprah, a big beginning to the final year? her audience surprised with an amazing gift. when you have osteoporosis, like me, it helps to eat calcium-rich foods like yogurt, spinach, and cheese. but calcium, vitamin d and exercise may not be enough to keep your bones strong. so ask your doctor about once-monthly boniva. boniva works with your body to help stop and reverse bone loss. studies show, after one year on boniva that's exactly what it did for nine out of ten women. and that's what it did for me.
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and we knew it would be big. the suspense is now over. how would oprah winfrey kick off the final season of her show today? she's given her audience gifts before, but listen -- >> maybe i should take all of you with me to the other side of the world -- [ cheers and applause ] we're going to australia! we are going to australia! >> off to australia. that's john travolta who is a pilot and has flown with qantas. oprah and her audience will make the eight-day trip in december. and the passing of someone who uttered the most famous line from one of the most famous science fiction movies ever, "invasion of the body snatchers." >> they're after you, they're after all of us. our wives, our children,
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everyone, they're here already! you are next! you're next! >> kevin mccarthy was a respected actor who also starred in the stage and movie versions of "death of a salesman." which earned him an oscar nomination. kevin mccarthy died this weekend. he was 96. still ahead -- the new medal of honor winner, 22 years old, showing what courage looks like, his first interview. ations. hoo? omnaris. [ men ] omnaris -- to the nose! [ man ] did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed, and sore throat. [ inhales deeply ] i told my allergy symptoms to take a hike. omnaris. ask your doctor. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. get omnaris for $11 at nothing beats prevacid®24hr. just one pill helps keep you heartburn free for a full 24 hours.
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fi finally, you may remember, last week, we told you that the nation's highest military award, the medal of honor, will be giving to a living serviceman for the first time since the vietnam war, for an extraordinary act of heroism in a region of afghanistan known as the valley of death. tonight in his first interview, he tells martha raddatz what happens the day his world stood still. >> reporter: staff sergeant salvatore giunta was waiting at his army post in italy with his wife, jennifer, when the call come from washington. >> my heart started racing pretty fast at that time, and then when he said "president barack obama," it was really
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pounding. >> reporter: the honor of this award is mixed with the reality that the day of the battle was the saddest day of sergeant giunta's life. how often do you remember that time, that day? >> i think about it multiple times a day. >> reporter: he was just 22 years old at the time, during this epic battle, which abc news cameras captured. it was a fight so intense, an ambush so sudden, that soldiers were lying wounded within seconds. among them, giunta's closest friend, sergeant josh brennan -- shot multiple times and cut off from the other soldiers. >> to tell the story about that day hurts me. >> reporter: staff sergeant brett perry, back in afghanistan for a second tour, was with giunta on that frigid mountain during the battle. >> i can't even begin to describe how intense it was. the most intense whizzes i've
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ever heard from bullets just going right over us. >> reporter: and that is when sal giunta went far beyond the call of duty. with two taliban fighters now dragging his friend josh brennan away, giunta charged right into the ambush, killing one of the taliban fighters and chasing the other away. giunta pulled his friend brennan to safety. >> sergeant giunta was just right there with him, just holding his hand. >> reporter: despite giunta's efforts, it was too late to save josh brennan. >> i'll always think of him fondly. i'll always think of him the way he was and someone who gave everything for his country. >> they'll say he was just doing his job but the reality is there's very few people in the world that would have done what he did. >> reporter: do you know what the award says, above and beyond the call of duty? >> yes. everyone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty received
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the medal of honor, i think everyone i stand with would have the medal of honor. >> reporter: martha raddatz, abc news, italy. >> above and beyond. and you can see more of martha's interview later on "nightline." tonight. we hope you had a great weekend. we hope you'll join us right back here tomorrow night. closed captioning services, inc.
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this is "jeopardy!" let's s et today's contestants-- a graduate student of computer science from newark, delaware... a medievalist from los angeles, california...


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